Showing posts from June, 2020

Reading Roundup: May 2020

Take Me Apart by Sara Sligar This book alternates between two timelines, and suffers from the fact that one story is much more interesting than the other.  The author tries to make up for that fact by having the protagonist of the contemporary story start investigating events from the older one, but she never firmly establishes why there is a mystery or why it needs investigating. I thought this might have been a better book if it had only focused on one story and told it as more straightforward literary fiction instead of trying to manufacture unnecessary suspense. The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall I'm not sure how to feel about this book. On the one hand, Wall is wonderful writer and the first half of the book builds up beautiful portraits of four different people. In some places it reminded me of Wallace Stegner and his attention to relationships. On the other hand, however, the plot wasn't formed around a particularly compelling conflict and last third of the book dragged

Reading Roundup: April 2020

Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver This is a big, sprawling book that covers a lot of different characters and two different time periods. In some ways this works and in others it doesn't; some aspects of the book, especially the historical parts, felt underdeveloped. It took a while to really get into it, but by the end of the book I was absorbed in the story and had a hard time letting go of the characters. Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha This book seems like it should have gotten more buzz than it did last year. It's a complicated story about race, violence, and family legacies. The author alternates focus between two families who are intertwined as victims and perpetrators in different ways throughout the book. There aren't easy answers to any of the questions raised by the book, and I thought Cha did an excellent job leaving things realistically open in the end. Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter I knew this book was going to be terrible, but I wanted to read